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Investment In Movie Production In France Jumped 13.6% To $1.45B In 2023

Investment in movie production in France rose 13.6% in 2023 to $1.45B (€1.34B), according to an annual report published by the country’s National Cinema Centre (CNC) on Monday.

The CNC said that $1.19B of the $1.45B investment hailed from France-based backers, in their third highest contribution after 2016 and 2021.

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The body, which oversees funding and support schemes across the cinema chain, registered 298 French majority and minority films in 2023, against 287 in 2022.

Within this figure, 236 were majority French productions, against 208 in 2022.

It said that the 2023 figures suggested that France’s production sector had regained its pre-pandemic dynamic.

In a further sign of a return to pre-Covid-19 norms, the number of co-productions fell to 120, with 38 different territories, against 144 in 2022, which was the highest level for a decade.

That latter trend had been put down to productions traveling to circumvent the tail-end of Covid restrictions and finance crunches in 2022. The average for 2017 to 2019 was 119 co-productions.

In another trend, the CNC noted that 41.1% of the productions were budgeted at between $1.08M to $4.33M (€1-4M).

It also noted a rebound in so-called “films du milieu”, the term used for productions budgeted at between $4.33M and $7.58M (€4-7M), to account for 23.7% of feature productions against 15.9% in 2022.

The number of productions costing more than $21.67M (€20M) doubled to eight.

The features commanding bigger budgets spanned Matthieu Delaporte and Alexandre de La Patellière’s The Count of Monte-Cristo, Antonin Baudry’s De Gaulle Part 1 & 2, Gilles Lellouche’s Beating Hearts, Jacques Audiard’s Emilia Perez, Mehdi Idir and Grand Corps Malade’s Monsieur Aznavour, Audrey Diwan’s Emmanuelle and Benjamin Mousquet’s Chickenhare 2.

Funding sources

In a breakdown of finance sources, the CNC said state funding, spanning its own funding mechanisms as well as regional funds, rose 23.4% to $102.3M (€93.3M) to cover roughly 8.3% of the investment in majority French productions.

Within this figure, it noted that its selective supports had hit $42.3M (€39M) in 2023, against $35.3M (€32.6M) in 2022.

Broadcasters and streamers invested $415M (€383.M) overall, with $356M (€328.9) of that amount going into majority French productions.

The CNC said investment had increased across all these “diffusers” with free-to-air private channels raising investment by 50.4% to $76M (€71M), pay-TV groups by 43.1% to $252M (€233.5) and pubcasters by 29.8% to $86M (€79.4M.

Pay-TV giant Canal+ was the leading financier investing $166.9 M (€154.1M) into film productions in 2023, while France 2 was biggest free-to-air backer with an investment of $52.3M (€48.3M).

The global streamers Netflix, Disney+, Prime Video and HBOMax invested in 39 CNC registered films to the tune of €48M, more than doubling their 2022 investment of $24.9M (€23M) in 17 features.

Mandates across theatrical acquisitions, ancillary rights deals and international sales resulted in $119M (€109M) worth of investment for majority French films.

The country’s Sofica tax advantage funds raised another $35.2M (€32.5M) for majority French productions, a 19.9% increase on 2022 when they came in at $31.1M (€28.7M). Foreign investment grew 7.5% to $77M ($71).

Local producers were the first source of finance, partly through the country’s tax rebate scheme, accounting for 38.8 % of the investments in 2023, although the exact sum of their contribution had yet to be calculated.

In other findings, the CNC noted that there had been a record number of 18 animated features produced in 2023, against 12 in 2022, while the number of documentaries had fallen to 40 against 54 in 2022.

Looking at the gender data, the body noted that the share of films directed by women directors had fallen back slightly.

It said that 336 directors had directed 298 features, against 315 in 2022. Within this, men accounted for 71.7% of the directors and women 28.3%, against a 69.3% and 30.7 in 2022.

Looking at the 2004 and 2023 period, it said women had directed 25.7% of the CNC approved feature films, and 45.2% of the shorts.

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